Meet the 2023 Jimmy Awards Winners | Playbill

Awards Meet the 2023 Jimmy Awards Winners

Lauren A. Marchand of Long Island, New York and Langston Lee of Austin, Texas were last night’s Best Performance winners—here’s what they had to say about their big moment.

Langston Lee and Lauren Marchand Rebecca J Michelson

Here they are, world! The 2023 Jimmy Award nominees took the stage at the Minskoff Theatre last night for an evening of stellar performances. The energy in the room was electric as 96 high school students from around the country put everything they had into the one-night-only show, and the audience erupted with cheers at every opportunity. The Jimmys are absolutely one of the most incomparable nights in the theatre community—after all, where else can you find a spectacle like The Phantom of the Opera serenading Fanny Brice on a Broadway stage, both played by astoundingly talented teenagers? 

The awards are presented in two acts. The first act is a series of performances with all 96 nominees, which includes large group numbers and four character medleys—where small groups of students each sing a segment as the character they were nominated for. For act two, a panel of judges select eight semifinalists and eight finalists, all of whom receive scholarships. The finalists then advance to perform a solo song that they spent the week perfecting with coaches and mentors. Finally, the judges choose the two Jimmy Award winners for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress. 

This year’s winners are Langston Lee and Lauren A. Marchand, who each received a $25,000 scholarship. Marchand and Lee charmed the audience from the second they each appeared in character medleys all the way to their big wins. Playbill stopped by the after party to catch up with the winners right after they left the stage—and yes, it was every bit as joyful and Crucible-Cast-Party-esque as you would imagine. 

Lauren A. Marchand

Hometown: Long Island, New York
Regional Awards: The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance
Marchand began the night in a character medley as Elsa from Frozen. She brought the house down with a soulful “Let it Go” to finish out the mashup of songs, and she was then selected as a finalist. For her solo performance, Marchand chose “With You” from Ghost The Musical.

What were you thinking or feeling when they called your name?
“I was trying to pinch myself! My legs were shaking during the song, too, so I was trying to stable myself. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would, because I couldn’t even believe it was happening.”

Why did you choose “With You”?
“I’ve been working with that song for a really long time. When I worked with the judges, and my coach, I was with Telly Leung, which was awesome, because I saw him in Aladdin. I put a new meaning to it after recent events, and it made sense to perform. And it’s a beautiful song on its own.”

What was your favorite memory from the week?
“Just meeting so many good humans. Well, we met Ben Platt, and that’s awesome. But the friends that I made, and all the talent that I saw, it was really beautiful, and I’ll never forget it.”

Did you receive any advice that you’ll take with you?
Being a good person beats talent any day. And that you just really have to stick to your guns—be yourself but be good to those around you.”

What’s next for you?
“I’m going to NYU Steinhardt in the fall for musical theatre. Which is going to be great, and I’m really excited for that, to get a more solid education on stuff like this. It’s going to be awesome, and I’ll see where it takes me.”

Langston Lee

Hometown: Austin, Texas
Regional Awards: Heller Awards for Young Artists
Lee also appeared in a character medley, the first of the night, as Dmitry from Anastasia. His rendition of “My Petersburg” earned audible gasps from the audience, so it was no surprise when he was selected as a finalist. For his solo, Lee performed “Wondering” from The Bridges of Madison County.

What were you thinking or feeling when they called your name?
“Ecstatic. I kind of dissociated a little bit because I was so excited. Genuinely, I didn’t feel it was real, but feeling all the love from the audience, and my fellow Jimmy nominees, it was pretty great.”

Why did you choose “Wondering”?
Jason Robert Brown is my favorite musical composer. I love Parade, I love The Last Five Years, I love The Bridges of Madison County. But not only that, I think all his songs are very emotionally driven. The composition and the lyrics are so emotionally driven, that it’s such an obvious choice for a person who’s more into acting. And that’s who I am, I’m acting first. That’s why I love ‘Wondering,’ and how emotionally driven it is. How it has a climax, and how it has this beautiful falling action at the end.”

What was your favorite memory from the week?
“There’s so many! Honestly, my favorite moments of the week would have to be all the little moments I’ve had with different people, from different backgrounds, with different skill sets and different talents. Because everyone has been so supportive, and so nice. It’s just been a whirlwind of new friendships, and beautiful art being made together.”

Did you receive any advice that you’ll take with you?
“Always be kind. Always be respectful to the art, to the people that are creating the art with you, and just remember who you are within that.”

What’s next for you?
“I’m attending The Juilliard School for acting. I’m very excited about that. Who knows what opportunities will come, so I’m very excited for the future.”

See the rest of the performances from the 2023 Jimmy Awards here

See photos from the Jimmy Awards below.

See Photos from the 2023 Jimmy Awards

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!